Countdown to Football Frustration

Next Frustrating Hoops Victory

Next Lacrosse Annihilation

That's A Song By Pat Benetar

We should do a Biography on her. But we probably won't.

It is my birthday today and I’m getting drunker.

Not yet, but tonight I will go out and celebrate the somewhat worthless age of 24 years. Why do I bring this up? Not for some self gratification, but rather a connection to the very program that confounds this notebook and countless fans the most; football. Two years ago, on this very date, Paul Pasqualoni was dismissed as head coach of Syracuse. Shortly after a blowout given by Georga Tech in the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando, newly hired Athletic Director Daryl Gross decided it was time for the program to go in a different direction. I am not sure he meant that direction to be down.

He subsequently hired Greg Robinson, a man with an impressive resume and a few Super Bowl rings. Implementing a West Coast Offense, Robinson intended to open up the playbook and find immediate offensive improvement against a Big East Conference that had been playing a lot of option based games. This failed miserably. With the two headed quarterback maching of Perry Patterson and Joe 5 Fields, as well as the fact no one could complete a pass and the offense failed to get first downs resulted in a one win season with zero Big East victories. The worst season in SU Football history.

The 2006 campaign faired a little better, seeing four wins including a conference win over “rival” Connecticut (a team that eventually joined us in the basement). Offensive Line problems and major injuries on the offense resulted in a lackluster second half. The only bright spot was the occasionally brillant look of the two men in the backfield, Curtis Brinkley and Delone Carter.

So what does this mean for the future of the program? I am still convinced that firing Coach P was the right move for the school. I am still convinced that Greg Robinson can improve on next year and right the program, provided he has at least four years to do so. I am convinced that the Offensive Line can’t get any worse and better vastly improve to give our new starting quarterback time to develop into a game changing performer and allow the run game to be what it should be for Syracuse.

I am still optimistic for the future of SU Football. Despite our complaints and frustrations there is a team going out there and practicing and giving their all for Syracuse. That hard work should pay off in the future. For now, fare thee well Paul. Enjoy the Tuna chewing your ass out when the Cowboys lose. My confidence in Greg Robinson better be well placed. Or maybe I’m just drunk. Either way it is not so bad. I remember celebrating when Coach P got fired and I don’t regret it one bit. SU gives great birthday presents.

Syracuse-St. Bonaventure Preview

Syracuse students agree: Demetris Nichols > The Bonnies.

Mike Jones: Welcome to the Doghouse.

Jones' freshman campaign has not gone as expected for the young South Carolinian. Averaging just 12.5% of Syracuse's available game minutes, Jones has found a seat deep in the Orange rotation. While many attribute Jones' residency in the infamous Boeheim Doghouse to his rumored practice demeanor, the simple fact remains that Jones is performing horribly on the court.

To wit, Jones has only generated a 37.0 effective field goal percentage. While not superficially concerning, the fact that Jones is attempting 25.7% of the Orange's offensive shots when he is on the floor is absolutely destroying Syracuse's efficiency. Not surprisingly, Jones ranks fourth on the team in possession percentage (the statistic measures the percentage of offensive possessions that end with a recordable activity (turnover, missed field goal, etc.)).

Moreover, at 6'8", 210 pounds, Jones is getting destroyed on the defensive glass. Corralling just 4.3% of the defensive rebounds available when he is on the floor, Jones is simply get outworked and outplayed. Thus, it is not surprising to see Boeheim having Jones on such a short leash.

Anyway, this essay is about Syracuse's tilt against St. Bonaventure, not an unfettered attack against Mike Jones. As always, for an exhaustive explanation of Pomeroy's methodology and statistical theory, this link may be a useful resource.

When Syracuse is on Defense
St. Bonaventure Offense
Four FactorsValueNt'l Rank
Eff. FG %46.4255
T/O %21.6119
Off. Reb. %32.1219
FT Rate24.3167

Syracuse Defense
Four FactorsValueNt'l Rank
Eff. FG %43.520
T/O %22.3168
Off. Reb. %36.5247
FT Rate24.713

While St. Bonaventure may not be the worst offensive team on Syracuse's 2006-2007 schedule (that honor is earmarked for St. Francis (NY)), the Bonnies are not going to be scorching the nets anytime soon.

The St. Bonaventure attack pretty much turns on the fortunes of 6'10" senior forward Paul Williams. Williams is one of two Bonnies with an effective field goal percentage north of 50.0% and has developed into a pretty effective Windex Man (Williams is 28th in the nation in offensive rebound percentage and 245th in defensive rebound percentage).

Outside of Williams, however, St. Bonaventure does not pose a particularly intimidating individual player. Unless, of course, you consider a starting guard that shoots 28.6% from two-point territory and takes 28.7% of the team's offensive shots an offensive force.


From a team perspective, the Bonnies attack is nothing spectacular. Employing a tempered pace (68.0 possessions per game), the St. Bonaventure offensive strategy is structured to attempt shots from inside the arc. The only problem is that the Bonnies are a terrible shooting club, connecting on only 44.1% of attempted two-point baskets. What has resulted is an offensive efficiency value in the bottom 200 and just 65.4 points per game.

Given the above analysis, Syracuse's defensive success is going to turn more on St. Bonaventure's offensive ineptitude than the Orange's defensive might. Despite the fact that Syracuse is amongst the top 50 in defensive efficiency, the Bonnies are likely to engage in enough masonry that Syracuse's defensive strength will be rendered moot.

The one area of concern for Syracuse should be its ability to force turnovers and grab defensive rebounds. The Orange has struggled in both statistical areas this season. Saturday's contest should provide a simple remedy to these deficiencies and allow the Orange to prime itself for its first Big East Conference clash against Pittsburgh.

When Syracuse is on Offense

Syracuse Offense
Four FactorsValueNt'l Rank
Eff. FG %53.469
T/O %21.9135
Off. Reb. %37.077
FT Rate36.27

St. Bonaventure Defense
Four FactorsValueNt'l Rank
Eff. FG %52.3246
T/O %22.1182
Off. Reb. %39.1301
FT Rate29.061

Unfortunately, the analysis here is similar to that above. The real key to the Syracuse Offense-St. Bonaventure Defense clash is the Bonnies' complete incompetence.

Going through an exhaustive analysis of St. Bonaventure's woes is an exercise in futility. The real point of emphasis is the Bonnies' adjusted defensive efficiency -- 114.8 (328th in the country). As this statistic pretty much accumulates and illustrates all of the Bonnies' woes, little is left to extrapolate.

In short, this may be the perfect game for Mike Jones and Andy Rautins to find a groove and contribute. And if these guys can't contribute against St. Bonaventure's pitiful defense, these two guys are going to have a long season.

Get Your 'Nog On

Ho! Ho! Ho!
I'll be on hiatus for the next few days because I need to spend some time trying to pin my father to the floor so as to stop this wretched holiday.

See you all next week and have a very Merry 'Cusemas.

The Twelve Days of Orange Christmas

Here's to you, Coach Robinson.
With Syracuse's 2006 football season having experienced its sunset almost a month ago, there has been much discussion concerning the Orange's most recent gridiron effort. As it is the Christmas season, I thought it would be fun to memorialize and recapitulate head coach Greg Robinson's second effort in song.

For the 2006 campaign review, I chose the seasonally appropriate The Twelve Days of Christmas. Some of the verses require a bit of rhythmic shoehorning, but you should get the picture.

On the first day of Christmas, GRob gave to me,
The worst team in the Big East.

On the second day of Christmas, GRob gave to me,
Two Carney rushes,
and the worst team in the Big East.

On the third day of Christmas, GRob gave to me,
Three Taj Smith touchdowns,
Two Carney rushes,
and the worst team in the Big East.

On the fourth day of Christmas, GRob gave to me,
Four total wins,
Three Taj Smith touchdowns,
Two Carney rushes,
and the worst team in the Big East.

On the fifth day of Christmas, GRob gave to me,
Fiiiiive guys who can't block!

Four total wins,
Three Taj Smith touchdowns,
Two Carney rushes,
and the worst team in the Big East.

On the sixth day of Christmas, GRob gave to me,
Six conference failures,
Fiiiiive guys who can't block!

Four total wins,
Three Taj Smith touchdowns,
Two Carney rushes,
and the worst team in the Big East.

On the seventh day of Christmas, GRob gave to me,
Seven goal line flops against the Hawkeyes,
Six conference failures,
Fiiiiive guys who can't block!

Four total wins,
Three Taj Smith touchdowns,
Two Carney rushes,
and the worst team in the Big East.

On the eighth day of Christmas, GRob gave to me,
Eight losses on the season,
Seven goal line flops against the Hawkeyes,
Six conference failures,
Fiiiiive guys who can't block!

Four total wins,
Three Taj Smith touchdowns,
Two Carney rushes,
and the worst team in the Big East.

On the ninth day of Christmas, GRob gave to me,
Nine points averaged after halftime,
Eight losses on the season,
Seven goal line flops against the Hawkeyes,
Six conference failures,
Fiiiiive guys who can't block!

Four total wins,
Three Taj Smith touchdowns,
Two Carney rushes,
and the worst team in the Big East.

On the tenth day of Christmas, GRob gave to me,
Ten, the "Pudgy Passer,"
Nine points averaged after halftime,
Eight losses on the season,
Seven goal line flops against the Hawkeyes,
Six conference failures,
Fiiiiive guys who can't block!

Four total wins,
Three Taj Smith touchdowns,
Two Carney rushes,
and the worst team in the Big East.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, GRob gave to me,
Eleven yards per reception,
Ten, the "Pudgy Passer,"
Nine points averaged after halftime,
Eight losses on the season,
Seven goal line flops against the Hawkeyes,
Six conference failures,
Fiiiiive guys who can't block!

Four total wins,
Three Taj Smith touchdowns,
Two Carney rushes,
and the worst team in the Big East.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, GRob gave to me,
Twelve assistants on the hot seat,
Eleven yards per reception,
Ten, the "Pudgy Passer,"
Nine points averaged after halftime,
Eight losses on the season,
Seven goal line flops against the Hawkeyes,
Six conference failures,
Fiiiiive guys who can't block!

Four total wins,
Three Taj Smith touchdowns,
Two Carney rushes,
and the worst team in the Big East.

Merry Christmas, [Matt Glaude]!

Below, Brian Harrison presented his Christmas list. As I have never been one to dismiss a good idea, here's my brief list of yuletide desires:

  • This may constitute a true Christmas miracle, but I wholeheartedly wish that Internet-based authors would move away from using the nominative singular pronoun "we." Using "we" as a personal reference rather than as an effort to denote a collective is absolutely maddening, especially given the nature of blogs and its role as a source of information and analysis.

    I am unsure when and/or where the "we" movement finds foundation, but it has all but infected many a notebook over the last 12 months. My personal assumption is that many writers are fearful of using the personal pronouns "I" or "me" because many pre-secondary education English classes promote the use of non-first person prose.

    Whatever the cause, the solution is simple: do not use "we" unless it is necessary to use the nominative plural of "I."

  • Speaking of using the word "we," I wish that the world would stop using the pronouns "we," "us," "them," and "they" when referencing either a team of preference or an opponent. The reason for this distinction is fairly straightforward: spectators are not participants.

    For example, I would not expect members of the Syracuse University football team to refer to Orange::44 as "our" blog. Connectedly, as a writer, to refer to the Orange football squad's performance as "our" performance is patently improper.

    Plus, in the end, using proper names provides readers with a more descriptive examination and inherently signals who the particular actors are.

  • I wish that Demetris Nichols would get some national attention for his performance thus far this season. According to Ken Pomeroy, Nichols is currently ranked in the top 500 in the country in seven statistical categories (Pomeroy currently categorizes 12 different statistical measures). In two categories -- offensive efficiency rating and percentage of shots -- Nichols is within the top 100.

    If it was not for Nichols' ill-fated dunk-layup attempt against Wichita State, Nichols could have easily established himself as one of the most important players in the Big East Conference this season.

  • I wish that Syracuse's fabulous 2007 basketball recruiting class stays healthy throughout its respective preparatory seasons.

  • I wish that Syracuse offensive line coach Bob Wylie somehow manages to find functionality in the Orange offensive front. The Syracuse front was simply atrocious in 2006 and given the youth that is expected to contribute in 2007, Wylie has a tough job ahead of him.

  • I wish that the faucet in my kitchen would dispense Dewar's scotch.

  • Finally, I wish that someone would condemn Georgetown University.

With the nomination process closing today for "The 2006 College Football Blogger Awards" (ballots can be submitted here), there is an open item remaining on the agenda.

In an apparent effort to measure intangible strength, Part III of this exercise in self-glorification promotes a "Blogger Championship Series." As Joel at Rocky Top Talk instructs, the showdown is intended to showcase the best bloggers from each athletic conference:'s just like that other BCS except completely different. We'll be handing out Best Blog awards for each of the BCS conferences, plus one for mid-major coverage (including all independents other than Notre Dame), and one for more general, national coverage blogs. After long debate we decided to put Notre Dame blogs in with the Big East, as the "non-BCS" category is supposed to be an award for mid-majors, which Notre Dame is certainly not. Since ND shares bowl affiliations with the Big East and plays the rest of their sports there, it seemed the logical choice.
Blogger Championship Series
Atlantic Coast Conference
Representative: Eagle in Atlanta
Contenders: StateFans Nation; Section Six

While Bill does not create as much quantitative material as his ACC peers, he does produce significant amounts of qualitative content. Bill consistently understands and promotes the proper ideals of college athletics and holds his alma mater to incredible institutional standards.

For that, Bill deserves a shot at the crown.

Big East Conference
Representative: Pitt Blather / Pittsburgh FanHouse
Contenders: Mountainlair; Card Chronicle

Nobody produces more content on a daily basis than Chas Rich. He is a blogging machine and, despite his heavy authorship, maintains a reasoned approach to the material.

What really sets Chas apart from other Big East-oriented bloggers is that Chas has an innate understanding of the game and the context to which discussions should be framed.

While our clan is small, everyone with an association to the Big East owes Chas a hearty "Thank You."

Big Ten Conference
Representative: mgoblog
Contenders: iBlog For Cookies; Maize 'n Brew

Let's put it this way: if you're not voting for Brian, you're batshit insane.

Brian single handedly brought this association together. For that, any ballot not including mgoblog as the Big Ten representative should receive incessant ridicule and derision.

Big Twelve Conference
Representative: Burnt Orange Nation
Contenders: None

Peter Bean and Company have developed quite the notebook. In fact, Burnt Orange Nation has grown so well that it has metamorphasized from a blog to a community. That is, unquestionably, impressive.

Pacific Ten Conference
Representative: Bruins Nation
Contenders: None

West Coast cool with East Coast angry.

Methinks that is a perfect mix.

Southeastern Conference
Representative: Dawg Sports
Contenders: EDSBS; Hey Jenny Slater; Rocky Top Talk

Kyle King does not get enough credit for his blogging prowess. As "The Mayor," Kyle surely holds a lofty position within this niche community, yet all too often he defers praise and accolades to others.

The real strength that Kyle holds over his peers, however, is his almost encyclopedic knowledge of all things Georgia and SEC. He churns out tons of material and is not afraid to establish opinions and discourse.

In short, the BlogPoll would be much less interesting and informative if Kyle was not around.

National Notebooks
Representative: Sunday Morning Quarterback
Contenders: College Football Resource; NCAA FanHouse; FanBlogs

Nobody can hold a candle to Matt. He is without question the pre-tournament favorite.

The Things I Want

Everytime T-Rob misses a free throw an angel gets its wings.

My real Christmas list is pretty bare because I finally just got done with law school exams. But in Collegeland kids have been off for about a week and a half. Therefore I will try my best to remember my fond undergrad days and come up with what every good Syracuse boy and girl should want this year.

1. Defense.
2. Less turnovers.
3. A Legends of 44 DVD.
4. Nog – The noun of verb.
5. Another lax title (It has been 3 years after all).
6. A basketball team that makes it out of the first round of the NCAA.
7. A plus .500 football season.
8. A beer bong.
9. A Swiffer Wet Jet. Yeah for real. College houses get dirty.
10. A phat new stereo for the basement. Music at a party is a must.
11. Jim Boeheim’s Wife. Don’t judge me.
12. A Family Guy DVD.
13. More quality posts from the Orange Blog Consortium.
14. Goodwill twords men.
15. Darwin’s Pub to reopen.
16. Another great Boeheim press conference with no less then 5 swears.
17. Offense.
18. Matt Gorman to sit the bench more.
19. All my rent money back.
20. Nancy Cantor to resign.
21. Marvin Harrison to give me tickets.
22. To beat UConn and Pittsburgh during the season.
23. The dance team to get hot again.
24. A little snow.
25. Another Big East title would be nice.
26. Allen Griffin to party with me again.
27. Kegs and eggs.
28. Press passes to the football and basketball championships.

I know some of them are pretty unattainable, but a guy can dream right? Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

PS – This picture I made of Jim Boeheim makes me laugh every time I look at it.

The 2006 College Football Blogger Awards

As noted previously, the BlogPoll is engaging in a little self-glorification. The vehicle for the exercise takes the form of “The 2006 College Football Blogger Awards.” It is a multi-part examination of the Internet’s resident college football bloggers, categorized through a series of awards.

Part I of my nominations can be viewed through the link above. This essay constitutes Part IV of the series: the grammatically distressing “The I Wanna Talk About Me Free for All.” As Rocky Top Talk instructs:

The I Wanna Talk About Me Free for All is designed primarily to spread the love in case it doesn't naturally happen some other way and to serve as the season's Round Up of Round Ups. Each blogger, no matter who they are, must identify their three best posts of the year. I'll round `em up, and compile the entire thing. If it kills me. And it might.
As I pen two Syracuse notebooks – this blight on virtual society and its cousin Syracuse FanHouse – I will include both essays authored on both sites.

The I Wanna Talk About Me Free for All
There is no need to skirt the obvious: 2006 was a difficult year to pen material about the Orange. As each week progressed, Syracuse presented so many repeated deficiencies that penning worthwhile Orange-related material became difficult. Consequently, quantitative content diminished herein and on other outlets.

For the sake of the exercise, however, here are three essays that I feel presented either a novel argument or analysis:

1. Connecticut Head Coach Questions Syracuse's Admissions Integrity
Syracuse FanHouse

In early November, Connecticut head coach Randy Edsall decided to throw his Big East Conference peers under the bus in order to salvage some respect from Connecticut administrators and partisans. What resulted was a firestorm of accusations and disgust. The essay above attempted to reset the discussion and argue a measured opinion based on fact rather than irrational assumptions passing as reality.

2. Harvard-Yale: A National Treasure
The FanHouse

The essay has nothing to do with Syracuse, but it is a tremendous examination of the nation's greatest college football rivalry. Chronicling both the rivalry's tradition and history, the essay serves as an all-inclusive look at a game that transcends itself.

3. Syracuse Improves While it Regresses
Syracuse FanHouse

Arguably one of the finest essays I have ever written. It is an exposition of how raw statistics are often misleading, especially when used to define performance progression and regression.

The target of the essay is, once again, Syracuse Post-Standard columnist Bud Poliquin. In his defense, however, his questions and comments are not particularly off-base. The essay above, though, actually attempts to answer some of his questions rather than rationalizing incredibly worrisome statements.

Re: Syracuse-Texas

Is this the definition of insanity?
In case you haven't heard, Syracuse is looking to add Texas to its 2008 schedule. I penned some comments concerning the intention over at the Syracuse FanHouse. Excerpts can be seen below with an accompanying link.

Syracuse is officially "cruisin' for a bruisin'."

In a submission published last Sunday, Syracuse Post-Standard staff writer Donnie Webb notes that Syracuse intends to add the University of Texas to its 2008 schedule:

Syracuse-Texas: An Ingenious Orange Decision

While less glamorous than an ultra-aggressive mentality, the "walk before you run" movement is picking up momentum in the Salt City.

As noted yesterday, Syracuse intends to add the University of Texas to its 2008 football schedule. Tentatively scheduled as a home affair, Texas will complete the Orange's already unyielding out-of-conference slate of Akron, Notre Dame, Penn State, and Northwestern.

Dave Rahme, staff writer for the Syracuse Post-Standard, notes today that Syracuse's decision to meet Texas on the gridiron smacks of poor judgment. In pertinent part, Rahme argues:

Syracuse-Hofstra Preview

Syracuse students agree: "Flying Dutchmen" was a better moniker.

Syracuse's recent struggles have been well documented; there's no need to rehash such performances on this notebook. As the Orange's Big East Conference slate looms on the not-too-distant horizon, Syracuse must find a cure to what ills it or 2006-2007 could go down as one of the most disappointing seasons in Syracuse's illustrious basketball history.

The first step in such a remedy comes Friday night, when the Orange welcomes downstate foe Hofstra to the Carrier Dome. Syracuse is a decided favorite in this contest and should blow the doors off the Pride.

Of course, if things don't go according to plan, there's going to be big time trouble on The Hill.

As always, for an exhaustive explanation of Pomeroy's methodology and statistical theory, this link may be a useful resource.

When Syracuse is on Offense

Four Factors: Orange "O" v. Pride "D"
TeamEff. FGTurn. %Off. Reb.FT Rate

The fact here is simple: Hofstra is a defensive mess. With an adjusted defensive efficiency value of 109.5 (good for 300th in the nation), Hofstra is inept when opponents have the basketball. What is really killing the Pride, however, is its inability to stop opponents from inside the arc (opponents are shooting 50.6% from two-point territory).

In other words, Friday could present a career game for the white-hot Demetris Nichols.

The other major point of emphasis is that Hofstra is one of the worst defensive teams in the country at allowing opponents to get to the foul line. Generating a free throw rate value of 45.5 (good for 296th best in the nation), opponents are killing the Pride from the charity stripe. As Syracuse has done a tremendous job at getting to the line (21st best in the country), the Orange can really make some hay if the choose to pound the ball inside and slash to the basket.

Of course, this necessarily requires Syracuse to knock down its free throw attempts. Everyone knows, however, how dicey that fact is.

Finally – and this point is fairly unimportant – Syracuse needs to push the tempo of this game. As noted above, Syracuse likes to play in transition. Hofstra, constrastingly, enjoys a slower pace, generating only 67.1 possessions per contest. If Syracuse can get out and run, the Orange offense may simply fatigue Hofstra to the point that offensive opportunities become more plentiful.

When Syracuse is on Defense

Four Factors: Orange "D" v. Pride "O"
TeamEff. FGTurn. %Off. Reb.FT Rate

From a player perspective, Hofstra maintains two terrific offensive options: Loren Stokes and Antoine Agudio. With offensive efficiency ratings significantly north of 100.0 and, as a tandem, eating up 57.4% of Hofstra’s offensive shot attempts, Stokes and Aguido pose a serious threat to Syracuse’s ability to smother its opponents.

From a team perspective, Hofstra presents an attack indicative of many mid-majors in its class. The Pride is a somewhat perimeter-oriented team, attempting three-point shots on 38.4% of the team’s total field goal attempts. What is concerning, however, is that Hofstra is knocking down those behind-the-arc attempts at a 39.3% rate, good for 53rd best in the nation.

Given the fact that Syracuse is allowing opponents to knock down 31.4% of its three-point shots (an average rate, but nonetheless worrisome given the Orange’s desire to sit in a zone defense), Syracuse must do a good job at extending the defense and forcing Hofstra to attempt shots inside the arc. The residue of such a defensive strategy is twofold.

First, Syracuse is second in the nation in block percentage at 22.2%. As the Orange has at its disposal significantly larger bodies up front, the opportunity to force the Pride into empty possessions resulting from blocked attempts bodes well for a Syracuse attack that enjoys getting out in transition (Syracuse is averaging 72.1 possessions per game).

Secondly, Hofstra is only shooting 50.6% from two-point territory. Against a Syracuse defense that only allows its opponents to covert on 41.7% of its two-point tries, Hofstra is going to want to set-up outside and bomb the lights out. Taking Hofstra out of its comfort zone by forcing it to beat Syracuse inside may result in rushed shots and offensive confusion.

The final point of emphasis concerns Hofstra’s inability to hit the offensive glass and Syracuse’s recent struggles on the defensive glass. As a team that is generally perimeter-oriented, Hofstra has been absolutely horrific at creating offensive boards. With so many long attempts and an offensive strategy that inherently spreads the floor to get open three-point looks, Hofstra is ranked 251st in the nation in offensive rebounding percentage.

Syracuse, unsurprisingly, has been just as inept at getting defensive boards, allowing opponents to generate a 36.0% offensive rebounding percentage (232nd in the nation). With such a tension existing, whoever dominates this point of emphasis should have the upper hand in the success category. Consequently, Syracuse needs Daryl Watkins to have a huge game and Terrence Roberts, despite his day-to-day status, to actually start contributing on the defensive end.

It's Not Easy Being Orange

Harumph, harumph, harumph.
Dear Syracuse University Athletics:

Stop ruining my life. I'm serious; all this losing needs to stop. If such results continue, I'm going to bill you for the hardened liver I now own due to consequential medicinal binge drinking.


Matt Glaude

P.S.: Ken Pomeroy projects Jim Boeheim's outfit to beat Hofstra 89-64 on Friday (a 98% chance of victory). If a comparable result is not achieved, please expect another, more tersely-worded message.

The Reports of my Death are Greatly Exaggerated

With Christmas Tree firmly erected and adorned with twinkling lights and soon to be broken glass ornaments, it's time to get back to what I do best: hoping that I write more Syracuse-related essays.

The Elmira Express Schedules Stop in Theaters
The Legend of "44" is about to enter a whole new dimension:
Hello, Hollywood!

Ernie Davis, the indefatigable catalyst of Syracuse's historic 1959 National Championship squad, is set to have his far-too-brief life story told on the big screen.

As relayed by Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician, Variety reports that the film is tentatively titled "The Express" and will star Dennis Quaid ("Jaws 3-D") as late Orange head football coach Ben Schwartzwalder. Scott Williams originally drafted the screenplay and Charles Leavitt ("K-PAX") revised the script.
It is not yet determined who will play Davis in the film. In response to Syracuse Post-Standard staff writer Donnie Webb's query, I posed this candidate.

Making a Mockery of Black-Tie Award Banquets
The Syracuse football program held its post-season awards banquet last week. In response, I developed my own awards and give them to eight worthy recipients:

As Syracuse's 2006 football campaign has mercifully concluded, there is an important piece of business still remaining on the docket.

Recently, the Big East Conference named its "All-Big East" performers for the 2006 season. Connectedly, a handful of AOL NCAA FanHouse writers handed out their own hardware in response to such selections.

In this spirit, what follows represents the first edition of The Syracuse FanHouse Certificates of Achievement in the Fields of Frustration and Pseudo-Excellence. The awards are similar to the MacArthur Fellowships except with significantly less "genius" and a boatload more "whoopsie-daisy."

As an addendum, The Bonanza of Numbers is scheduled to appear relatively soon. Post-Christmas and pre-New Year's is the intended goal, but hardcore drinking responsibilities may intervene. Also, the Baylor preview is tentatively set for publication tonight or tomorrow evening.

Things I Think I Know

I add instant credibility to this outfit.

It has been a while since I wrote something for this notebook. I am embroiled in exams for my first year of law school. I know the loyal readers expect content that is both entertaining and informative. Therefore, with that mandate and the need to distract myself from exams I give you some ideas in the style of Larry King.

The basketball team needs to rebound more.

Syracuse Lacrosse will again make the Final Four.

For my money, there are no greater sporting events then Bowl Week, March Madness, and the Powder Puff Football Tournament at Syracuse.

Simply put: Chips and some sort of dip are the best appetizer.

Greg Robinson will get no less then 4 wins again next season.

Trivia Question: Who was the first person, other then Carrier Dome staff, to step on the new field turf? Answer: Me. True story.

A fake Christmas Tree is just as good as a real one with no needles falling constantly.

A movie about Ernie Davis is a great idea and a moving tribute. Now how about a statue on campus?

Am I wrong in wanting USC and The Ohio State to lose their bowl games?

UMass won’t upset #1 Appalachian State in the Championship Division (1-AA) Championship Game.

The BCS is very broken. Everyone knows it, but it won’t change.

If you can only go to one away basketball game, Gample Pavilion is nice but you have to go to MSG.

Jim Brown and Ernie Davis were the best backs to ever play together. Bottom line. It is a shame Davis never got to play in Cleveland.

Family Guy is the best animated series on television right now. South Park is number two.

Christmas Cards are overrated. Pick up your phone and call someone.

Maxwell Hall is the best looking building on campus at Syracuse (not counting Hendricks Chapel).

My favorite Syracuse Blog other then this one is Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician.

My favorite Big East Blog is Mountainlair.

Another shame is that College Gameday is not back at Syracuse again this year.

Students use catch phrases from Super Troopers more then any other movie.

There are about 12 teams that could reach the Final Four right this second.

For my money, Woody Paige is the best person on Around The Horn.

The best in state rivalry Syracuse has in basketball is Cornell.

Athletes at UConn commit more crimes than any other Big East school.

The best candy bar is the original Hershey Bar.

Vince Young will be Rookie of the Year in the NFL, but Devin Hester probably deserves it more.

Your mother may still in fact be a Hoya.

Syracuse Basketball is best enjoyed with a cold beer and a bitter heart.

That is all for now. I feel more free then ever. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

The 2006 College Football Blogger Awards

It's like the Oscars. But with ugly people.
The BlogPoll, long a bastion of workplace distraction, is officially entering the realm of self-glorification.

And I wholly intend on propagating such efforts.

Spearheaded by Joel over at Rocky Top Talk and the indomitable Brian Cook of MGoBlog, the Awards seek to honor both notebooks and individual essays penned this college football season.

The nominations that appear below constitute my proposed nominations for blog-related awards. Later this week I will debut my proposed nominations for essay-related, Blogger Championship Series, and I Wanna Talk About Me awards. Input and comments, as always, will not be discarded immediately.

The Dr. Z Award
FOR: Cogent, interesting analysis.
CRITERIA: Emphasis placed on statistical manipulation, well researched pieces that reveal something new, and/or solid argumentative pieces that function as the authoritative last word on a subject.
Three words: Upon Further Review.

iBlog for Cookies
If Vijay isn't the most consistent blogger penning statistically-driven material, there aren't many others doing more.

Section Six
Steven really doesn't get enough credit for the work he does penning his N.C. State notebook. While the stat goodness really shines during hoops season, there is enough substance during football season that merits a nomination.

The Trev Alberts Quits to do Construction Award

FOR: comic relief; overall hilarity.
CRITERIA: The funniest college football blog.
Every Day Should be Saturday
A no-brainer.

The M Zone
Fought Colin Cowherd of ESPNRadio.

And won.

Sexy Results!
How do you not love Ian? Well, probably if you're an illiterate.

The Sports Fans Don't Cry Award

FOR: The blog that has suffered through its chosen team's dismal season with the
most dignity.
CRITERIA: Continued engagement in the face of crippling, misery-inducing defeat. A stiff-upper lip and sane reaction to everything crumbling to dust.

Eds. Note: Yes, this pretty much describes this notebook. No, I cannot nominate myself. Even if I could nominate this notebook, though, I wouldn't for the simple fact that I produced very little meaningful content here during the football season thanks to the bar exam, new job, moving, etc.

Pitt Blather
Can six wins be a poor season? Yes, if you're Chas Rich.

Eds. Note: I have no idea who else to nominate here. Any suggestions would be just terrific.

The Keith Jackson Circa 1995 Award

FOR: The blog with the most consistently expressive and excellent writing.
CRITERIA: Mechanical competency, yes, but the ability to turn a devastatingly funny phrase or write something compelling is probably more important. This isn't an award for copy editing; it's an award for kickin' prose.
The Blue-Gray Sky
They almost write as well as I do.


Sexy Results!
Ian's still the man.

The Brady Quinn Award

FOR: The prettiest blog, the best layout and design.
CRITERIA: An aesthetic appeal, whether from a stylish banner, a pleasing layout, or an eye-catching incorporation of blog technology.
Golden Tornado
Simple, yet superbly interesting.

Interweaving a host of college football blogs into a single entity, AOL deserves a pat on the back for its efforts.

And it doesn't look terrible.

Sleek with simple graphics and maneuverability.

The New Blog on the Block Award

FOR: The best new college football blog.
CRITERIA: Must have launched sometime after last year's national championship game. Transitioning to a new blog or affiliating with a network mid-stream doesn't count.
Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician
Raw, but certainly coming along.

Eds. Note: Other than the FanHouse, which apparently doesn't count, is there a notebook that I'm missing?

The LOL, MSM Award

FOR: The blog best keeping tabs on the man and calling out all of the injustices
in the college football world.
CRITERIA: Consistently ahead-of-the-curve on controversial issues in college football.
Sunday Morning Quarterback
Quite simply the best.

The Best Community Interaction Award

FOR: The blog with the best community interaction.
CRITERIA: A regular solicitation of input from readers and utilization of reader-produced content.
Burnt Orange Nation
Just gettin' it done.

Every Day Should be Saturday
When the comments are as good as the posts, something is terrifically right.

Bright Lights, Big City

Welcome to McNamaraTown.

This game probably deserves a significant preview, but I'm absolutely swamped at work. So, instead I'll just post links to Ken Pomeroy's terrific team scouting reports:

Not Syracuse

For what it's worth, Pomeroy is predicting a 75-70 triumph for the Orange (a 69% overall probability of victory). Me, well, I'm not quite as high on Syracuse. But, of course, I'm a dirty, dirty, pessimist.

Previews and other related blogging activities to hopefully resume later this week.


  • Air Your Grievances

  • This About Sums It Up

  • I am less smart for having read your blog.
  • - Anonymous Georgetown supporter.
  • You are an idiot...
  • - Anonymous Nunes/Magician Reader.
  • Congrats on not being very good at what you do.
  • - Anonymous ACC supporter.
  • You are a dweeb, my friend. Grow a backbone.
  • - Anonymous UConn supporter.
  • ...vacuous, asinine, and mind numbing...
  • - Anonymous commenter.
  • Honestly, just admit that you are pathetic...
  • - Anonymous commenter.
  • You just don't have hoops experience.
  • - Twitter commenter.
  • Leave the journalism to talented people. Brian is just another hack and another fair weather fan.
  • - Twitter commenter.
  • A bad blog about Syracuse athletics.
  • - UConn Fan on Twitter (after winning NCAA).